The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Inflammation is a natural defensive body response to help our bodies heal from harm and stress (infection, illness, injury). However, sometimes it can get out of hand and become chronic, ultimately leaving us in a dangerous inflamed state and leading to various health problems. Some even call inflammation ‘the real cause of all disease’ commonly including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, ADHD, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and the list goes on. As you can see, we DON’T want chronic inflammation for obvious reasons.
So what do we do to prevent it?
Greatly influenced by dietary factors, inflammation can be fought by changes in the food we consume. Sugar is the main culprit, but also too much ‘bad’ fats such as hydrogenated oils found in most processed foods and even overconsumption of protein can put our bodies into chronic inflammation. Once again, the solution falls in the hands of dietary balance. Alcohol also promotes inflammation as well as refined grains, processed deli meats, vegetable oils, dairy, and soda. Aside from diet, a sedentary lifestyle will encourage inflammation too, so get out and play!
Ok, so that’s nice, we now know the contributors of a pro-inflammatory diet, but what foods can we consume to support an anti-inflammatory lifestyle?
Fruits, vegetables, and adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are key here! Typically, we get an overabundance of omega-6’s (the opposite of 3’s) from vegetable oils we use to bake or cook and commmonly hidden in our everyday store bought food. So make sure you are getting adequate amounts of your 3’s to combat those 6’s and stocking up on your plant-based foods. Plus, no one is ever going to tell you to eat less fruits and veggies for any reason, so you might as well! Some recommend the Mediterranean diet as a good outline. Antioxidant rich foods like berries and dark leafy greens are great too. I always say go organic, because all those pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics will put you right back where you started.
And guess what? It really is as simple as that! More fruits and vegetables, an omega-3 supplementation, getting some good ol’ exercise, and monitoring your consumption of sugar, dairy, alcohol, and processed foods will have you well on your way to the anti-inflammatory lifestyle preventing and even reversing disease! It’s no lie!
Written by Kimmi Bitter B.S. Nutrition
Frost Chiropractic in Carlsbad, CA